'Black Panther' Production Designer Explains Changes Made to Gorilla City
Black Panther takes plenty of inspiration from the comics, but some things needed a few tweaks, including the famous Gorilla City.
Marvel fans will be introduced to the Jabari and their land in the Black Panther film, a place that takes its cues from the comics with some very noticeable differences. Production designer Hannah Beachler spoke to ComicBook.com about why they decided to shake things up.
"Everything is my favorite but one of my very favorites is Jabari Land, known in the comics as Gorilla City, which is over here," Beachler said. "We decided, again Ryan and I … We've had so much fun in discovery here. He was like, 'What about snow?' We were talking on the phone for a couple months before we really got on the ground. Snow in Africa, what are you talking about? I started looking up pictures and seeing lions with snow. Who would have thought? Months later here we are standing 7,000 feet up in snow in South Africa, so that was great."
The Jabari are a Wakandan tribe that worships the White Gorilla, and they call the Gorilla Palace their home. It is more of a rainforest locale in the comics, but following the White Gorilla does make the snow-covered mountains more of a fit, and that's what fans will get in the film.
"He was like, 'What if the Jabari instead of' … We started out putting them down in the rainforest, and he was like, 'What if they were in the mountains and snow?' OK, we're going to do this, we're going to do snow," Beachler said. "It's been fabulous. We put Gorilla City up in the snow in the mountains to help isolate them a little bit and it's all wood so we've been really working with how we can come up with the tradition and technology outside of using Vibranium for the Jabari. It's been a ton of fun."
That tribe is led by M'Baku, who is referred to as Man-Ape in the comics. As fans will see, the character of M'Bakureceived a similar makeover, and it should result in a fresh new life for the longtime villain.
Black Panther lands in theaters on February 16th.